Numbers 14, Psalm 50, Isaiah 3–4, Hebrews 11

DateVersionReading Plan
@May 6, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Numbers 14

Numbers 14:40–41 (ESV) 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, “Here we are. We will go up to the place that the LORD has promised, for we have sinned.” 41 But Moses said, “Why now are you transgressing the command of the LORD, when that will not succeed?

After the people grumbled that it would be better to return to Egypt, were assured by Joshua and Caleb that they could take the land if God delighted in them and God pronounced judgment that only their children would see the promised land, the people tried to take the land themselves without God’s protection. In their distrust of God, the window of opportunity for them to occupy the land by His leading had closed and their taking of the land would now be a transgression against His command, ultimately resulting in their defeat. This is a sobering illustration of the type of walk we should have with the Lord. He provides for us the blessing of His presence and guidance within us, if we would abide in Him and His Word rather than pursue our own initiatives.

Psalm 50

Psalm 50:14–15 (ESV) 14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

We are to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and perform vows to the Most High, to call upon Him in our day of distress and, by our deliverance, He will be glorified. The final thought of these verses is its culmination: God’s glorification. God’s work of salvation is not the end in itself but is graciously extended in order that He would be glorified. By His work of redemption, we have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Isaiah 3–4

Isaiah 4:2–3 (ESV) 2 In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. 3 And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem,

The “branch of the LORD” according to the Faithlife Study Bible is “A metaphor referring to the Messiah, as indicated by Jer. 23:5; 33:15 and Zech. 6:12.” The “fruit of the land” may be the future abundance of Zion or the gospel itself and all the graces and comforts that stem from Christ. It is a wonder that we have been given such fruit, to be called holy in Christ and be among those recorded for life.

Hebrews 11

Hebrews 11:13 (ESV) 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

The faith of the patriarchs is demonstrated in this chapter by not having seen with their own eyes the fulfillment of promises in Christ but instead greeted them from afar. Particularly striking is not that only the greeting of the unseen but that they also acknowledged themselves as strangers and exiles on the earth. They were looking forward to a greater blessing to come which shaped their perspective of their momentary earthly existence. By this example, the faithful of today must realize that we are sojourners in a foreign land, living as servants while we await the coming of our Lord and renewal of all things.

Carson on Numbers 14

[The Israelites] simply go with the majority. If they had adhered to the covenant to which they had pledged themselves, if they had remembered what God had already done for them, they would have sided with Caleb and Joshua. Those who side with the majority voice and not with the word of God are always wrong and are courting disaster.

Carson dutifully reflects on the necessity of aligning oneself with the Word of God rather than the majority. Often, it is the loudest voice or most influential group that garners the most attention, but those in Christ must remain steadfastly adhered to His Word, proceeding forward according to the commands and promises given to us.